[Lone Sentry: German Self-Propelled Artillery]
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"Powered Artillery" from Recognition Journal

[Cover, Recognition Journal, September 1944]   The September 1944 issue of Recognition Journal printed the following article describing several variants of German self-propelled guns encountered by Allied troops in Italy and France during WWII.

[Sturmgeschütz III: Medium Assault Gun StuG III armed with 105-mm gun]
German medium assault gun is a thick-barreled 105-mm. gun mount on the chassis of the PzKw III tank. This weapon looks almost exactly like the 75-mm. Sturmgeschütz (below).

Many German self-propelled guns are modified captured material

German self-propelled guns have increased in importance with the Wehrmacht's withdrawal on all fronts. Retreating German armored divisions have left behind hundreds of these mobile assault and antitank guns.

Last December the Journal published pictures of the principal German self-propelled guns. These and many others have since confronted the Allies in the U.S.S.R., Italy and France. Some of the guns that we captured in Tunisia have continued to appear in large numbers in Europe. They include the 75-mm. and 105-mm. assault guns on the PzKw III chassis, the 75-mm. on the Czech PzKw 38 chassis (right) and on the French Lorraine chassis (below).

Soviet troops first encountered the self-propelled 88-mm. gun, Ferdinand, in 1943; U.S. and British troops met it in Italy. How they dealt with the 72-ton monster is shown on page 14. Ferdinand remains the only German self-propelled gun that was made to order from start to finish -- an original design. The others have all been adaptations.

The newest German SP guns continue to be adaptations of present equipment. They illustrate a trend toward greater firepower on PzKw IV and VI chassis.

[Captured Czech PzKw 38 chassis mounting 75-mm, Marder III]
This captured Czech PzKw 38 chassis that mounts a 75-mm. is a favorite German self-propelled weapon. The gun is housed in a tall, open-topped, slant-sided shield well to the rear.
[75-mm on Czech chassis, Marder III]
More familiar version of German 75-mm. gun on the Czech chassis has cone-shaped gun housing set well forward. Czech suspension has short wheel base of four large bogies.
[Sturmgeschütz III with 75-mm gun in Italy: Stug III]
To pierce the Gustav Line, the Allied troops had to beat their way past many 75-mm. self-propelled assault guns on PzKw III chassis. These last-ditch defenders made the going tough for the Allies. A squat forward superstructure has replaced the PzKw III turret. It is closed in on top and welded to the chassis. Here on the right and to the left rear are views of the Sturmgeschütz.
[German Ferdinand with 88-mm gun in Italy: Elefant]
Ferdinand, German 72-ton heavyweight, has 88-mm. gun and 8-in. armor on its bow. Picture shows one of the captured 12 1/2-m.p.h. vehicles.
[Captured French Lorraine tank chassis with 75-mm gun]
Lorraine tank chassis mounts a German 75-mm. gun. It has six bogie wheels in pairs with four return rollers and front sprocket.
[Captured Hotchkiss 39 tank with 47-mm gun]
Hotchkiss 39 tank with a captured 47-mm. gun is another instance of German-used French equipment. German ingenuity salvaged the weapon's usefulness. Hotchkiss 39 suspension consists of two and a half pairs of bogie wheels with "wheel pants" and two return rollers.
Recognition Journal lists the following photo credits for the three page article: p. 12 - Bot. George Silk; p. 13 - Top, Int.; bot., Carl Mydans; p. 14 - 14 - Top It., Acme.

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